American Facebook users spend way more time on the social network than exercising. Mark Zuckerberg said today on Facebook’s Q2 earnings call that “people on Facebook in the US spend around 40 minutes each day using our service”, while the CDC recommends Americans exercise 21 minutes a day but only 20% of people meet that goal.

American Users Spend An Average Of 40 Minutes Per Day On Facebook | TechCrunch

Using images of cats uploaded to photosharing services, including Flickr, Twitpic and Instagram, Mr. Mundy extracted latitude and longitude coordinates that many modern cameras, especially those in smartphones, attach to each image. His site displays random images from a sample of one million of the many millions of pictures tagged with the word “cat” online. The images are displayed on a map using satellite imagery, with nearby cat photos also visible. Specific street addresses are not displayed, but the geographic information can leave few details to the imagination in rural areas.

What the Internet Can See From Your Cat Pictures - NYTimes.com

More than 5% of the sites they surveyed had turned to a technique known as “canvas fingerprinting” to identify visitors. This technique forces a web browser to create a hidden image. Subtle differences in the set-up of a computer mean almost every machine will render the image in a different way enabling that device to be identified consistently. Popular sites using the technique included the White House, the San Francisco Chronicle’s website and the YouPorn pornographic portal.

BBC News - Browser ‘fingerprints’ help track users

If you pay for a phone in the US, you’ll find a small addendum each month: a few dollars for the Universal Service Fund, a federal program meant to give rural and low-income Americans phone and internet access. A fraction of that money goes to a system called E-Rate, which is specifically earmarked for bringing schools and libraries online. And today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has pushed through an attempt to reform the 18-year-old program by putting billions of dollars towards Wi-Fi over the next few years.

FCC approves multibillion-dollar push to put Wi-Fi in schools and libraries | The Verge

Google has powerful data to see exactly what the audience wants, and produce news-on-demand. The entire world was searching for Neymar — Brazil’s superstar player who sat out after fracturing a vertebra. Google could have looked for related search terms, and created content for people to grieve or laugh. I ask the team why they wouldn’t use a negative headline. Many headlines are negative. “We’re also quite keen not to rub salt into the wounds,” producer Sam Clohesy says, “and a negative story about Brazil won’t necessarily get a lot of traction in social.”

In Google Newsroom, Brazil Defeat Is Not A Headline : All Tech Considered : NPR

It turns out that all that de-identified data may not be so anonymous after all.

So argues Arvind Narayanan, a Princeton computer scientist who first made waves in the privacy community by co-authoring a 2006 paper showing that Netflix users and their entire rental histories could be identified by cross-referencing supposedly anonymous Netflix ratings with the Internet Movie Database. Narayanan and fellow Princeton professor Edward Felten delivered the latest blow to the case of de-identification proponents (those who maintain that de-identification is viable) with a July 9 paper that makes a serious case for data paranoia.

They argue that de-identification doesn’t work—in theory or in practice—and that those who say it does are promoting a “false sense of security” by naively underestimating the attackers who might try to deduce personal information from big data.

Here’s why you may never be truly anonymous in a big data world - Quartz

Echoing almost a decade of pro-neutrality sentiment in academe, 11 higher-education and library groups released a set of 11 principles on Thursday that promote the notion that all Internet content, regardless of origin, should be treated equally. The 11 principles—meant to guide the FCC as it considers new open-Internet rules—include recommendations to prohibit the blocking of legal websites, ensure neutrality on public networks, forbid paid prioritization in the transmission of some content over others, and adopt enforceable policies.

11 University and Library Groups Release Net-Neutrality Principles – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Emergency phone and internet data laws to be passed

Emergency powers to ensure police and security services can continue to access phone and internet records are being rushed through Parliament.

Prime Minister David Cameron has secured the backing of all three main parties for the highly unusual move.

He said urgent action was needed to protect the public from “criminals and terrorists” after the European Court of Justice struck down existing powers.

But civil liberties campaigners have warned it will invade people’s privacy.

» via BBC

If you visit the forum page for the popular Linux Journal, dedicated to the open-source operating system Linux, you could be fingerprinted regardless of where you live because the XKeystore source code designates the Linux Journal as an “extremist forum.” Searching for the Tails, operating system, another Windows alternative popular among human rights watchers, will also land you on the deep-packet inspectee list.

If You Do This, the NSA Will Spy on You - Defense One

Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else. Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents. The surveillance files highlight a policy dilemma that has been aired only abstractly in public. There are discoveries of considerable intelligence value in the intercepted messages — and collateral harm to privacy on a scale that the Obama administration has not been willing to address.

In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are - The Washington Post